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Opioid Abuse and Detox Treatment: What You Should Know

Opioid Abuse and Detox Treatment: What You Should Know

Opioids are substances that are used to relieve pain thanks to their morphine-like effects. However, many people abuse these prescription drugs because of the euphoric high that they provide. This leads to a number of adverse health effects that can completely overshadow the benefits.

If a person takes opioids recreationally for a long period of time, it can easily lead to a downward spiral involving tolerance, addiction, and dependence.

On this article, we are going to share some basic facts about opioid abuse, its effects, and how detox works. Having this sort of information will allow you to help an addicted loved one and make informed decisions along the way.

Opiates and Opioids: What’s the Difference?

The term opioids may refer to opiates, but not always vice-versa. Opiates refer to the natural substances derived from the opium poppy plant. Meanwhile, the word “opioid” is a more modern one, which can also refer to synthetic and semi-synthetic substances made with these derivatives.

Opiates and opioids are also sometimes called “narcotics”. All three of these terms can carry negative connotations especially when talking about law enforcement.

However, many of these are prescription drugs—meaning they are legal, as long as they are used within the limits of their prescription.

The term opioids may also refer to opiates, an older word that refers to other drugs derived from opium—both synthetic and natural. Common examples are hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, and Fentanyl.

Common medical uses include suppressing diarrhea, suppressing cough, and even treating addiction. However, when taken in higher doses, they can produce deadly effects.

What are the Side Effects of Opioid Abuse?

Opioids are potent drugs. They can cause side effects, even when used at pharmaceutical doses. This means if a person isn’t careful, they can succumb to its habit-forming quality and get hooked.

Contact your doctor if you experience any of the following side effects: nausea, respiratory depression, constipation, and itchiness.

With recreational use, tolerance may develop—the user will start to crave for more of the drug. And they will also need to take larger doses in order to get the same effects.

You can tell that a person has been abusing opioids by the way they are displaying euphoria for no reason. They may also seem relaxed and sedated.

With continued abuse, tolerance may develop. This means they are starting to need more and more of the drug, just to get the same effects. They will be tempted to take opioids more often, therefore putting them at a higher risk of dangerous health effects.

If your doctor prescribes an opioid, be sure to follow the prescription carefully. Do not take the drug for longer than is recommended, and do not share it with anybody else.

What Happens When Someone Abuses Opioids?

The euphoria provided by opioids can cause an individual to get addicted. Drug tolerance may quickly develop, leading to symptoms such as itching, respiratory depression, and urinary retention.

With long term abuse, addiction and dependence could develop. Physical dependence means that the person’s body could no longer function normally without the drug’s presence. Withdrawal can be unpleasant for the user, forcing them to relapse. This makes self-regulation very difficult.

A person who is dependent on opioids should not quit the drug without medical assistance. Otherwise they may go through persistent symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, irritability, excessive sweating, and tremors.

How Does Detox for Opioid Dependence Work?

Opioid treatment is necessary for those who have developed dependence or addiction. Their compulsive desire for the drug will keep them from recovering on their own—willpower can only go so far in this case.

There are opioids that can be used for the purpose of detox. However, this method should be done by medical professionals. You can seek treatment for the opioid addicted individual today. A good detox facility will be able to formulate a treatment plan that fits the person’s specific needs. Their health, drug abuse habits, and symptoms will be taken into consideration.

Detox incorporates medications and the process of gradually lowering the patient’s intake. Methadone is sometimes used for this procedure. Withdrawal symptoms are also managed during the treatment process.

Relapse is something that can happen to patients, even when detox is over. That is why behavioral therapy and other similar techniques are also employed. They may go through group therapy sessions, counseling, and other methods that can help them adjust to a drug-free life.

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